Evidence and the Litigation Process

Course Code: PLBA 1503

Academic Year: 2022-2023

This course examines the fundamental rules of evidence, including the emergence of the modem rule of hearsay evidence. The underlying principles supporting the common law and statutory exceptions to the hearsay rule also receive comprehensive analysis. Students confront the recurrent tension between probative value and prejudicial effect in determining the admissibility of various categories of evidence. Through case studies, the course investigates the scope of evidentiary burdens, privileged communications and opinion evidence. Such related evidentiary concepts as materiality and relevance and similar fact evidence and evidence of habit are applied to complex fact scenarios. In the context of court and tribunal proceedings, students learn strategies for the effective presentation of testimonial and documentary evidence. All stages of the litigation process are covered, from pre-trial motions to the sequence of the trial and from the disposition of the proceeding to cost/sentence submissions.